Sai Thamë College
Sai Thamë College is a Lay College established in Aristasia-in-Telluria. Its Mother-House is a beautiful building set in its own grounds in a secluded valley called Little Aristasia.
This is a "virtual building" to which access is gained by electronic means. But Sai Thamë College is not a virtual College. It is a real College where real girls live and work despite the fact that their physical locations are spread over the Tellurian globe.
Girls who, for technical or other reasons, cannot gain access to the Mother House may still join the College. Seminars and other activities in physical locations are entirely possible: perhaps even one day, one or more physical buildings.
Sai Thamë College is the point of entry most new girls will take into Aristasia. Once you have learned a little about Aristasia and talked to Aristasian girls sufficiently to feel that you wish to proceed further into the Empire, you may sign up for the Aristasia 101 course. During this course you will learn many things about Aristasia, and if at any stage you decide that it is not suitable for you, you are free to terminate your participation in the course.
Once you have completed the course you may apply to sit for the Sai Thamë College entrance examination. This is a straightforward test designed to ensure that you have learned and understood the material presented in the Aristasia 101 course and are suitable for the College. There will also be a formal interview.
If you pass the examination and are accepted at interview you will become a scholar of Sai Thamë College.
Before you begin, let us consider some common questions:
1. My interests are not particularly academic. Why must I join a College in order to enter Aristasia?
A Lay College is not primarily an academic institution. It is a home, a community and an in-group. To understand exactly what a Lay College is, read this page. It is important to read this because the Lay College is an uniquely Aristasian institution that has no real Tellurian equivalent - and you really ought to understand what you are applying for!
Once you pass into the College, you will be termed a "scholar", but how much actual study you do will be (largely) up to you. This is not like entering a University.
The primary thing you are doing is entering a community of friends and other Aristasians.
2. Then why do I have to take a course and pass an entrance examination?
Scholars of Sai Thamë College in uniform: Black for brunettes, blue for blondes, grey "sailor" uniforms for "teenies".
Aristasia is another world. It has its own manners, customs, laws and ways of life. It has its own nations and institutions. It even has different sexes from those in Telluria. Anyone passing from Aristasia to Telluria, even as a visitor, must know a basic minimum about the world she is entering. This has always been the case. Having a fixed syllabus and an examinable level of attainment merely simplifies and systematises what was once a rather hit-or-miss process. It makes it easier and quicker for you as well as everyone else.
3. I do have academic interests and wish to improve myself in Aristasian ways. Will the College provide opportunities for this?
As a Lay College, Sai Thamë College does not provide a full syllabus. Many activities and courses of study will be organised by Study Groups and Sororities formed by scholars and mistresses within the College. You will be able to join study groups for subjects you are interested in, and if they do not exist you may be able to help in forming them. Sai Thamë College encourages the pursuit of Raihiralan Education: education designed to produce an accomplished and cultivated maiden, rather than vocational education.
4. How great a commitment of myself to Aristasia will this involve?
When you enter Aristasia, you adopt an Aristasian persona. Within Aristasia, this persona is regarded as wholly Aristasian. This persona may or may not be the same as the one you use in everyday life. At the most basic level of Aristasian involvement (and becoming a simple junior scholar is the most basic - anything before that may be termed pre-involvement), it is our policy not to enquire into this. It has been termed the "Foreign Legion Policy" because just as in the Foreign Legion it was the rule not to ask about a legionnaire's pre-Legion life, so in Aristasia-in-Telluria we do not ask about one's non-Aristasian life.
In other words, your commitment extends only as far as your Aristasian persona. It does not ever have to extend any further if you do not wish it to.
For many scholars it will begin to extend further. You may join groups or form relationships which involve your everyday life. You may be given rules to follow in your daily life within some groups or relationships. You may become involved in Spiritual activities which, by definition, involve your whole being, transcending any earthly distinctions.
How far you come into Aristasia and give it your commitment will be up to you, and of course is also dependent upon how far you are accepted in. But the minimal commitment of having a persona that behaves as an Aristasian while she is in Aristasia is the most you will need to give.
5. Having gained my place in the College, is it possible to lose it at a later date?
Yes. There will be certain minimum requirements that you must fulfill in order to maintain your scholarship. We expect scholars to be reasonably active within the College. If we don't see you for months, your membership could lapse. Also disciplinary proceedings could lead to expulsion, although this would be a last resort.
Further it should be borne in mind that just as you are free to decide at any point that the College - and Aristasia in general - is not right for you, so the College has the right to decide that you are not suitable for it. Usually this would happen (on either side) before you are admitted, but the College reserves the right to terminate the scholarship of a girl who really is not fitting in.
6. As a junior scholar of the College, will I have to be a "teenie"?
No. "Teenies" (teenaged personae) come about because of the needs and nature of the individual concerned. You may read more about "teenies" here. As a new member of the College you will have a "junior" status, but this has nothing to do with either your physical age or the age of your persona.
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